Forensic Mental Health Counseling

A two-year, full-time, 60 credit-hour program, the Master of Arts in Forensic Mental Health Counseling is designed for students who wish to provide mental health services in forensic or legal settings. Rooted in clinical practice, this program provides students with more than 200 hours of practicum work and 600 hours of internship experience. The Program also provides the appropriate foundation for future doctoral study in a Psy.D. program.​

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The Master of Arts in Forensic Mental Health Counseling seeks to:

  • Prepare graduate students for careers as master's level mental health counselors in forensic settings
  • Prepare graduate students for further academic training at the doctoral level (Psy.D.) in applied, clinical, experimental, or legal psychology
  • Provide students with training in the areas of clinical assessment and intervention
  • Provide students with internship/practicum experiences that will promote and develop professional skills in clinical forensic psychology

The Forensic Mental Health Counseling program is designed to provide the necessary coursework and professional hours to fulfill state licensure requirements for students to obtain the Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) or Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) designation. The Program allows for approved course substitutions as necessary to allow students to fulfill specific state licensure requirements.   

Looking for the M.A. Forensic & Legal Psychology Ph.D. preparation program?


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The thirteen-course core curriculum in the Program includes specialized courses in Forensic Psychology, Law and Psychology, and Forensic Assessment with adults or children. Students select one elective within clinical psychology. Finally, students take 12 credits of practicum and six credits of internship for a minimum of 60 credits.

Internships and practica are available at a variety of forensic sites including court clinics, sex offender treatment programs within a secure prison setting, juvenile detention and treatment facilities, and community-based mental health settings working with persons with mental disorders who are involved with the criminal justice system. Clinical training is emphasized in the areas of clinical and risk assessment, diagnosing mental disorders, treatment and risk management planning, individual and group psychotherapy, sex offender treatment and risk reduction, and recent planning and community services.

Requirements for the M.A. Forensic Mental Health Counseling program

(All courses are three credits unless otherwise indicated)

A. Required Courses: 39 credits

PSYCH501Research Design
PSYCH503Forensic Psychology
PSYCH504Psychology and the Law
PSYCH505Introduction to Clinical Assessment
PSYCH509Methods of Psychotherapy I
PSYCH513Vocational Counseling
PSYCH514Helping Relationships
PSYCH515Introduction to Group Counseling
PSYCH532Multicultural Competence in Psychological Practice
PSYCH534Advanced Developmental Psychology
PSYCH550Professional Ethics in Psychology

An additional assessment course: 3 credits (choose one of the following)

PSYCH506Assessment in Criminal Law
PSYCH512Child Assessment

A psychopathology course: 3 credits (choose one of the following)

PSYCH520Developmental Psychopathology
PSYCH521Adult Psychopathology

B. Advanced Electives: 9 credits selected from the following:

PSYCH519Methods of Psychotherapy II
PSYCH530Special Topics in Psychology
PSYCH531Family Violence
PSYCH535Group Dynamics: Methods and Design
PSYCH540Advanced Personality Psychology

C. Clinical Practicum: 6 credits

PSYCH591Clinical Practicum I
PSYCH592Clinical Practicum II

D. Clinical Internship: 6 credits

PSYCH598Clinical Internship I
PSYCH598Clinical Internship II

(Minimum of 60 credits)

Student Outcomes

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Graduates of the program typically seek employment as mental health counselors or pursue study at the doctoral level, most commonly in Psy.D. programs.  

Employers of our Graduates
Alexian Brothers Behavioral Health Hospital (IL)MA Department of Children and Families
Arbour-Fuller Hospital (MA)Massachusetts Treatment Center
Central New York Psychiatric CenterMetropolitan Police Department of DC
Danville Police Department (CT)Michigan Attorney General's Office - Criminal Division
Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health (PA)Newport County Community Mental Health Center (RI)
Joseph J. Peters Institute (PA)Rhode Island Department of Corrections
Justice Resource Institute (MA)Riverbend Community Mental Health, Inc. (NH)
Lifespan (RI)South Bay Mental Health Center (MA)
Doctoral Programs
Alliant International University (Psy.D.)Regent University (Psy.D.)
Antioch University (Psy.D.)Spaulding University (Psy.D.)
LaSalle University (Psy.D.)University of Denver (Psy.D.)
Nova Southeastern University (Psy.D.)William James College (Psy.D.)
Pacific University (Psy.D.) 


Upcoming Events

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Open Houses

Meet us on campus in Bristol, RI, and hear about admission and financial aid, meet the faculty, tour the campus, and more.

Saturday, November 2, 2019
Bready Sailing Center
10:00am - 1:00pm

Virtual Information Sessions

Short on time or just want to learn more about us from the comfort of your home, school, or office? Join us for a Virtual Information Session.

There are no sessions scheduled at this time, but you can view the recording from our August 8, 2019, virtual session.

Please visit for current information.

Application Requirements

Applicants should have an undergraduate degree in Psychology, Criminal Justice, or related field, and must have satisfactorily completed undergraduate courses in Statistics and Research Methods. To apply, students must submit the following items to the Office of Graduate Admission:

  1. Completed application form accompanied by the $50 application fee
  2. Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate coursework
  3. Letter of Intent (two double-spaced pages maximum) describing your interest in Forensic Mental Health Counseling, career goals and how you can positively contribute to the graduate program at Roger Williams University
  4. Official report of Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores sent directly by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) to the Office of Graduate Admission. The ETS School Code for Roger Williams University is 3729
  5. Three (3) letters of recommendation attesting to your potential to succeed in graduate school. All three letters should come from academic sources (professors) who can speak to your performance in the classroom. One letter may come from an internship supervisor or employer, if appropriate. You should select recommenders who know you well, can speak about your character and work ethic, and can attest to your ability to handle graduate level coursework. Recommendation letters should not be submitted from personal friends or family members. 
  6. If your first language is not English, an official report of TOEFL or IELTS results

Application Deadlines:

February 1st - Priority Scholarship Consideration Deadline
February 15th - General Application Deadline

International applicants should also read through this page for additional requirements.

Where appropriate, documents should be submitted online through the applicant portal or via email to Any official documents that must be mailed (i.e. transcripts) should be sent directly to:

Office of Graduate Admission
1 Old Ferry Rd.
Bristol, RI 02809

Have questions about the application process? Read the application instructions from the Office of Graduate Admission.

Headshot of Rebekah Snyder

An Advocate for Survivors

Rebekah Snyder, RWU Class of 2016
Forensic & Legal Psychology

Rebekah Snyder '16 supported 156 women in delivering their impact statements to confront disgraced USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar.

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Graduates in Forensic Mental Health Counseling are able to:

  • Expertly administer and interpret the WAIS-IV and WISC-IV and their protocols as well as the MMPI-2 and other personality inventories
  • Conduct and write up initial clinical interviews, Mental Status Examinations and compile complete client social history
  • Provide and initial case conceptualization with case write-up and proposed treatment plan
  • Operate effectively in a group design form of treatment
  • Provide psycho-educational services in areas of expertise


  • Delivery Method: In-Class
  • Start Term: Fall only
  • Course Load: Full-time only
  • Tuition: $984/credit (Fall 2020 - 60 credits)
  • Admission Deadline: February 1st for priority scholarship consideration; February 15th general deadline